Nepal - Gokyo valley and Everest Base Camp trek

Gokyo Ri ascent - Tagnak

 

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Day 9 - Ascent of Gokyo Ri (5360m) followed by the crossing of the Ngozumba Glacier to Tagnak(4700m)

Today is the first long day of the trek.

Climbing up Gokyo Ri is technically very straightforward: you just walk right up the steep hill. The problem is of course that this hill is located at above 5000m so you can expect the going to be very slow and quite breathless unless you are already well acclimatized.
But if you manage to pace yourself and stop often enough you will be rewarded with some of the best views on offer in the region of Khumbu. I personally find the view up on Gokyo Ri more...breathtaking than from Kala Patar (further on this trek).
If the weather is clear you will be rewarded with views of Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, and Cho Oyu, four of the eight highest mountains on earth.

The descent from Gokyo Ri follows the same route as the ascent (and is a damn sight easier!).

The second part of the day is spent going back down to the second lake of Gokyo then crossing the Ngozumba glacier.
Himalayans glaciers, especially large ones, are covered with rocks and debris and you don't really see the huge masses of ice that they contain when looking at them from a distance. The roughly two hours spent crossing the glacier (there is a kind of track that you can follow so it's safe if the track is visible - picking your way in snowy conditions might be a problem) make you realize that under the rock there is plenty of ice, deep crevaces, pools, even torrents of fast flowing water. Then suddenly you find yourself crossing sand dunes (the grinding of the glacier produces lots of fine sand).

Eventually you reach the lateral moraine and leave this unreal world to descend to the tiny settlement of Tagnak (also called Dragnag on some maps) where you will spend the night before what is often considered the hardest day: crossing the Cho La to Dzongla.

 

 

 

 

Phari Lapche reflected in Gokyo Lake

 

Everest and the Ngozumba glacier

 

 
 

View of Cholatse and Taboche from Gokyo Ri

 

 

View from Gokyo Ri

 

 

Gokyo: the second lake

 

 
Cho Oyu from Gokyo Ri

 

 

A lodge in Gokyo (with Cho Oyu in the background)

 

 
Ducks in the lake

 

 

Ducks in the lake

 

 

Crossing the Ngozumba glacier

 

 

Crossing the Ngozumba glacier

 

 

Crossing the Ngozumba glacier

 

 
 

Crossing the Ngozumba glacier

 

 

Crossing the Ngozumba glacier

 

 

Approaching Tagnak

 

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